tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC November 25, 2012 8:00am-9:00am PST
and was this latest skirmish a warm-up for israel's showdown with iran. and here at home it's time to work on the fiscal cliff. can both sides strike a bargain before everyone's tacks go up. we'll cover that with our headliners. senators dick durbin and lindsey graham. plus our powerhouse roundtable. matthew dowd, joe klein, ruth marcus, david sanger of "the new york times" and peggy noonan of "the wall street journal." then ben affleck. >> you saw your parents killed? >> with war breaking out in congo, he's here live on what can be done to stop the fighting. and -- >> i'm jonathan karl, i'm going to show you how this clipper will bring bipartisanship to washington. hello, again. you just saw
one small step for bipartisanship, is there more to come in washington? congress is back to work this week. top priority, a deal to block those automatic spending cuts and tax increases now set for january 1st, and some smart money is starting to bet that the president and congress will find a way to avoid that fiscal cliff. stocks up this week in anticipation of a deal with the dow clocking five straight of gains. and black friday consumer spending was down as well. now let's bring in t number one senator dick durbin and top republican lindsey graham. senator, welcome in. senator, let me begin with you. you see those markets going up in anticipation of a deal, are they right to be optimistic? >> they should be optimistic because we can solve this problem. unfortunately, for the last ten days with the house and congress gone for the thanksgiving recess, much progress hasn't been made, but tomorrow there's no excuse. we're back in down.
george, we're back to basic. the house of representatives have a bipartisan bill passed by senate that will spare 98% of taxpayers from income tax raises. and 97% of businesses. it's a bipartisanship bill that the house should pass to make sure that we go forward with these negotiations without this specter of tax increases for working families and also, i might add, have a farm bill that they've been unable to pass and a bipartisan bill for the violence against women act authorization. it's time for the house in the closing days of this session to at least take up those three measures and pass them. >> okay, senator graham, you signaled that you're willing to raise h raise revenues that's drawn the fire of grover norquist. he thinks the best solution is not to negotiate a compromise but go over the cliff. he says "the world won't come to an end if this isn't resolved before january. take the sequester.
the only thing worse than sequester cuts is to not cut spending at all." he's saying don't raise taxes except those spending cuts. >> well, what i would say to grover norquist is that the sequester destroys the united states military. according to our secretary of defense, it would be shooting ourselves in the foot. the smallest navy since 1914 and the smallest air force in the history of the country so sequestration must be replaced. i'm willing to generate revenue. it's fair to ask my party to put revenue on the table. we're below historic averages. i will not raise tax rates to do it. i will cap deductions. if you cap deductions around the $30,000, $40,000 you can raise a trillion dollars in revenue. the people who lose their deductions are the upper income americans. to do this i want entitlement reforms. republicans always put revenue on the table. we never cut spending. i'm looking for more revenue for
entitlement review before the end of the year. >> i want to ask senator durbin about that. in the end, norquist said that you're not going to go through with this promise to race revenues because you quote like being a senator. your response? >> i love being a senator and i want to be a senator that matters for the state of south carolina and the country. when you're $16 trillion in debt, the only pledge we should be making to each other to avoid becoming greece and republicans should put revenue on the table. we're this far in debt. we don't generate enough revenue. capping deductions will help generate revenue raising tax rates will hurt job creation, so i agree with grover wei we shouldn't raise rates but i think grover is wrong we can't cap deductions and buy down debt. what do you do with the money? i want to buy down debt and cut rates to create jobs, but i will violate the pledge, long story short, for the good of the
country only if democrats will do entitlement reform. >> let's talk about entitlement reform, senator durbin. you see your allies in the democratic party are mobilizing with ads from labor unions. aarp airing across the country right now. i want to show part of it. >> how do we move our country forward and reduce the deficit? by creating jobs and growing our economy, not by cutting programs that families rely on most. for working families it's all about putting americans back to work. not cutting the things we rely on most. >> there are signals they can't accept the kind of entitlement reforms in medicare and social security that senator graham is saying are prerequisite to a deal. >> let me tell you, first, george, and you know this, social security does not add one penny to our debt. not a penny. it's a separate funded operation. and we can do things and i believe we should now, smaller things, played out over the long term that gives its solvency. medicare is another story. only 12 years of solvency lie
ahead if we do nothing. those who say don't touch it, don't change it are ignoring the obvious. we want medicare to be there for today's seniors and tomorrow, as well. we don't want to go to the poll and voucherizing it and we can make meaningful reforms without compromising the integrity of the program, making sure that the beneficiaries are not paying the piece for it except perhaps the high income beneficiaries. that to me is a reasonable approach. let me salute lindsey graham. what he said about revenue in needs to be said on his side of the aisle. we put everything on the table. >> does that include raising the age for medicare eligibility? >> here's my concern about that. what happens to the early retiree who needs health insurance before that person's eligible for medicare? i had it happen in my family and i bet a lot of your viewers did, as well. we have to make sure there is seamless coverage of affordable health insurance for every american.
my concern about raising that medicare retirement age is they'll be gaps in coverage or coverage that's way too expensive for seniors to purchase. >> is that a fair point, senator graham? >> not really. i don't think you can look at entitlement reform without adjusting the age for retirement like tip o'neill and ronald reagan did. it goes to 66, 67 here pretty soon for social security. let it float up another year or so over the next 30 years, adjust medicare from 65 to 67 over the next 30 years. means test, benefits for people in our income level, i don't expect the democrats to go for premium support or voucher plans, but i do expect them to adjust these entitlement programs before they bankrupt the country and run out of money themself, so age adjustment and means testing for both social security, medicare, i think is ream and all those whoing looked at this problem have done that over time. >> i want to move over to another subject. senator durbin, you praised senator graham because he was
open to more revenues. do you think capping deductions is the answer or will there actually have to be an increase in tax rates for the wealthy. >> no, i think the top rate needs to go up. that's where i may disagree with my friend lindsey graham. remember during the course of the presidential debate how many times the president turns to mitt romney and said do the arithmetic. how in the world are you going to reduce deducts and generate enough revenue for meaningful deficit reduction? he could never answer the question because there is no reasonable answer to it. let the rates go up to 39. let us also take a look at the deductions. let's make sure that revenue is an integral part of deficit reduction and from my side of the table bring entitlement reform into the conversation, social security, set aside. doesn't add to the deficit. but whether it comes to medicare and medicaid protect the integrity of the program but give it sol venzke for more and more years. >> let me ask you about the fallout on the u.s. consulate
and u.s. ambassador susan rice. you've been critical of her and for the first time she respon d ed. take a look. >> when discussing our facilities in benghazi shgs i relied solely and squarely on the information provided to me by the intelligence community. i made clear that the information was preliminary and that our investigations would give us the definitive answer. >> and senator graham, we learned this week from the director of central intelligence agency, that references of al qaeda were taken out for security reasons not for political reasons. do you accept the explanation by ambassador rice? >> i don't believe that the best intelligence assessment on 16, september was that there was a spontaneous event in benghazi based on a video that led to a mob that became a riot.
the cia station chief on the day of the attack reported in realtime we're under attack by al qaeda affiliates. the president in libya said on the day of atack -- excuse me on 16, september, al qaeda was involved. we've got drones. released the video. we know what a mob looks like in the mideast. i am increasingly convinced the fbi interviewed the survivors in ramstein, germany, the day after and convinced that the best and current intelligence assessment on 16, september went against the video. the video was a political smoke screen. the actual facts were this was a coordinated preplanned terrorist attack. when the president said on "letterman" we think the video caused this. when he said at the u.n. we won't let a hateful video turn the mideast into a bad spot they're not relying on the best -- >> but all the evidence is that ambassador rice was using the information given to her by the intelligence community. >> i don't -- i don't believe that. i will -- here's what i want to
know. have the intelligence community, not the deputies, the people on the ground put in one pile all the evidence of a preplanned coordinated terrorist attack with al qaeda militia and one pot and put in the other pot the evidence that this was a spontaneous mob created by a hateful video. i've seen no evidence. what did the fbi get from the survivors? they said there was never a mob to begin with. there were mobs in -- riots in the mideast but none had mortars, none lasted for seven hours and why for seven hours could we not help these poor people? where was the department of defense? and when you look at the history of benghazi, george, august 16th there was a report coming out of benghazi saying there are ten al qaeda militias roaming around benghazi. we cannot withstand a coordinated attack on 16 of august. the british closed their consulate, the red cross left and we left ours open unreinforced. there was an al qaeda storm brewing for months. i blame the president above all
others. >> you're still -- do you still oppose ambassador rice's elevation to secretary of state if that's what president obama chooses to do? >> when she comes over, if she does, there will be a lot of questions asked of her about this event and others. but i do not believe the video is the cause when 14, september, secretary clinton told the families we're going to put in jail the man who made this video she should have said i'm sorry we left the consulate open and it became a death trap. i'm sorry we couldn't help your family for over seven hours. i don't believe the video is the reason for this, i don't believe it was ever the reason for this. that was a political story. not an intel story and we'll hold people accountable for a major national security breakdown three weeks before the election. that is our job. >> senator durbin, you were shaking your head there. >> if this was an nfl game, they would be criticized for piling
on. she got the report from the intelligence committee and reported it to the public. just exactly what we expect her to do. they have decided not to include the al qaeda reference so we wouldn't compromise your sources in benghazi and libya and now we have the committees of jurisdiction, the foreign relations committee and homeland security committee all taking an honest, bipartisan look at this. it's the way it should be done. george, i have enough time here in washington to remember when president ronald reagan in lebanon saw our embassy attack and then a barracks bombed where 230 u.s. marines were killed. that sort of thing should at least call the attention of the united states to look to ways to avoid these tragedies in the future. instead this has just been a dance fest to go after ambassador rice. that should come to an end. let's get down to the basic issues as the state department is doing. find out how to keep our people safe who are representing us around the world and stop making this a personal attack on ambassador rice. >> on that you can both know
there will be questions. senator graham, quickly, the last word. >> this is about four dead americans and about a national security failure. we need a focused look at what happened here. last week al qaeda was taken out because we didn't want to tip them off. this week apparently al qaeda was taken out. my belief is that the intel -- there was a mountain of intel to display the video characteristic. there was none that said this was a spontaneous event and the story created by ambassador rice and the president himself for seven days was far out of sync with the intell and it was a political smoke screen and not what happened to those four dead americans in benghazi and we will get to it like we got to the bottom of iran-contra. >> without question. gentlemen, thank you both very much. >> when we come back our powerhouse round table is ready to talk about the fiscal cliff
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peggy noon noon. let me begin now, matthew, talking about the fiscal cliff. we heard from the two senators right there, and i wonder if those two senators might be a bit of anomaly. you have dick durbin for the democrats ready to take on entitlements and lindsey graham ready to take on revenues. >> the president was put in a great position in the aftermath of the election to get a deal down. and i think most people in washington wanting to make a deal done. they're making arguments passing the fiscal cliff and going over would be a better way. i think for the markets and all the other reasons getting a deal done is much better. it will be a short term deal. it will be a short-term fix. some revenues. some expenditures. they won't do anything on it won't go much past two years. they won't do anything on entitlements. they don't want to make any fundamental changes in those programs. it will be a short-term deal to get done. there's a growing sense from >> that's something. >> there's a growing sense from both sides, that seems going over the cliff isn't a bad thing. >> you heard that from grover norquist. also from senator patty murphy from the democrats. ruth marcus, you have been covering budget battles going back to 1991.
>> stone age. >> i was there too. you're picking up in your reporting a little more pessimism about a deal. >> i've been going before the fiscal cliff and down the fiscal roller coaster because as you know from the previous battles it looks like it's not going to get done just before it gets done. that said, i've been very disappointed in -- i agree with everything that matt said about why it's important to get it done and what's doable. but the republican house offer that came in the aftermath of that very nice-sounding meeting of words of encouragement and moderation and flexibility on both side, it was an offer as far as i have reported that did not reflect the impact of the election. no increase in rates. no specified -- increase in revenue but nothing specified. get rid of the sequester. no trigger. if the tax reform doesn't -- >> so no -- >> also pay attention to this. no increase in the debt ceiling. and the president has been very
clear in the white house. he does not want to have to go through that again in february if we sort of solve the cliff in january. all of that adds up to a pretty dire situation. >> that's true, peggy noonan, but it goss seem that both the president and speaker boehner know in many ways their legacy is on the line and they have to g get something done. >> they must have it on their mind, the two of them, that if they really wanted to work hard, we're very shrewd. they might be able to sort of represelicate that great old me that all of us have of ronald reagan and tip o'neill being able to make some big agreements even though they had such disagreements in their party conferences opposed to each other. that was one of the last times americans looked at washington and thought, oh, my goodness, this place works. i think the president and the
speaker could see this as an opportunity, this fiscal cliff thing to convince people, you know what, we still can govern and that would be heartening. >> agree? >> yeah, i mean i may be getting old and soft-headed and too weak to be cynical. but i actually -- >> you're not getting old. [ laughter ] >> from your look -- but i think that this election mattered in a way. i think that there was a tremendous fever in the country, a fever of intransigence and partisanship and that fever has broken. i think grover norquist sell by date has passed. and obama has already put entitlement reforms on the table in his private negotiations with boehner a year ago, and i think that we're going to get a deal.
we may go over the cliff for a week or two weeks or whatever, but i'm optimistic there's going to be a deal. >> there's some talk that going over the cliff wouldn't be the worst thing in the world because at least for republicans everyone's taxes would have gone up without a vote and they're voting to cut taxes. >> the president's leverage goes up closer to that date, george. exactly because the taxes all go up, at that moment, then he's just negotiating about how much to cut them back down and i suspect that as they get closer to the date the republicans are going to look at the president's leverage post-january 1 and think they may not want to go that way. there's a second element that comes into this which is that once you're past that date, it's very bad for the markets as matt said, but it may not be an immediate effect on the economy. yes, there are cuts that go into effect on the pentagon, it's about a 7% or 8% cut on everything. everybody will look at this and say, this is probably the worst way to cut the pentagon budget
as one pentagon official said to me at one point, what did we do? call up northrup grumman and say we don't want the last 7% of that airplane, keep the tail? >> it's more of a slope than a cliff. >> the cliff is a little bit of a misnomer, but it could be a cliff in the sense that markets can react very badly. we have really lucked out in the sense that despite our apparent inability to govern ourselves and come to the compromises that everybody wants that we haven't been punished too much by the market so far. but one much the things that's interesting. you have the extremes in both parties willing to go over the cliff at the same time you ask matt dowd, senator durbin and graham if they were an anomaly. i don't think they are in the sense that i think they're a growing cadre especially in the senate of members from both parties who understand elements of the deal. >> that's what i was going to follow up on. if there's some way you could substitute truth serum and got
everybody to ask the same questions they all know on both sides of the aisle the administration and everybody knows revenue has to be raised. the only way to raise real revenue is increase the tax rate on the wealthy. >> maybe combined with capping -- >> cuts have to be done including defense cuts. everybody knows defense can be cut without hurting our security. they know entitlement reform has to happen and know grover norquist is an impediment. the only good thing he's named after a character from "sesame street" and i hope that's the last we heard of it. >> grover. >> i know. >> i think it goes back to boehner again. i think that there is a centrist coalition to pass this in the house. you know, you may lose the tea party on the right. you may lose some of the more extreme liberals on the left if you do entitlement reform but i think you got 250 votes for something in the middle. it depends on whether john
boehner is willing to risk his speakership to -- >> nancy pelosi will have a role too. one has the sense that the leaders of the parties have fear sequester and fear going over the cliff. they don't want it even as members in their parties are starting to talk more about sequester as actually a way out and a way out that puts the other side on the david petraeus. >> meanwhile, maybe they should watch the movie before they make the deal. >> that's what i wrote that the president had the screening of "lincoln" at the white house which i was not at but should have a regular 4:00 showing and everybody should come down, sit in the nice sits, eat the popcorn and recognize a few things from the president's point of view that nice words and lofty speeches, gettysburg address are wonderful but we also need sort of hard-headed a
little bit sleazy deal-making lobbying to go along. >> movies that -- >> wonderful. >> to go along with it and from the point of view of congress, that congress can rise above itself, can rise above partisanship and parties. >> but also i think that the ultimate message of that wonderful movie, i thought it was an act of patriotism on spielberg's part to make it that way. the ultimate message bring back earmarks so they -- >> buy out -- >> a lot of people -- >> earmarks have always been the grease, you know, that greases the wheels that get things done. i think john mccain did a tremendous disservice to this country by making such a huge campaign about earmarks when there are far bigger and more important targets to be met on -- >> i think that's one of the great things about the movie, loved the movie is that progress is never made through pure means and everybody has this vision of lincoln and this idea of lincoln was so forthright but he
employed impure means in order to accomplish something that was going to make the country progress, the 13th amendment and that i think is a great lesson. >> definition of politics. >> yes, it is. let me note on this, by the way, i have a feeling the grail on this whole issue is going to be all about spending and entitlement reform as we've been looking at the whole tax debate, the past six month, no, it's going to be about spending and entitlement reform if republicans see serious movement there they will be much more likely to go here. >> we got to take a quick break and lots more coming up from the roundtable. what can the gop learn from mitt romney's loss? we'll break down the myths and lessons of 2012 and while are the two party's top spokesmen are shaving their heads on camera. bipartisan break only on "this week." t's a bipartisanship breakthrough only on "this week." [ female announcer ] e-trade technology
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♪ i'm so happy to be joined by secretary clinton. this is her last foreign trip that we're going to take together. it's fitting that we come to a country that she's done so much to support. i could not be more grateful not only for your service, hillary, but also for the powerful message that you sent about the
importance of women and men everywhere embracing and promoting democratic values and human rights. >> shuttling diplomacy this week, hillary clinton, we'll talk about that now on the roundtable. matthew dowd, david sanger, joe klein, peggy noonan. david, let me begin with you. the skirmish between israel and hamas over gaza. you wrote that it in many ways it was a warm-up in a potential conflict between israel and iran. >> that's right. as you saw the hamas missile attack on israel began, israelis trying to figure out what capability that iran
had. because it was iranian missiles slipped in gaza. those were the one reaching towards jerusalem and tel aviv. they weren't enormously successful in that they didn't do that much damage. iron dome program turned out to be pretty effective not only in shooting down missiles but determining missiles that they shouldn't even target. because they were heading to sea or no population. that was a message to the iranians, if that thought they would manage to get these missiles into the gaza or into lebanon in the stealth cuban missile crisis, in fact, they would be significantly less effective. on the other hand, the iranians also learned a few lessons from this. they learned what the israeli capability was. the big question going forward
the big question going forward is, could this help diffuse the possibility of a confrontation with iran in 2013? the u.s. has now said along with its allies it wants to start the negotiations up again. >> that's coming up. joe klein, in the meantime, every side seemed to claim a victory in this cease-fire. hamas has eclipsed the palestinian authorities. >> no, they represent palestinians in gaza. i sat down with the leadership of hamas in the west bank. they've got elections coming this week. the west bank for the first time -- i have been doing israel for about 30 years now, and it's the first time that you have had a really effective, responsible palestinian government on the west bank. gdp has been growing by 15%. fatah's done very well on the ground.
i think that if you capture their wallets, their hearts and minds will follow. but i do believe that, you know, everybody is claiming victory. i think it was a defeat for everybody. it's going to be a continuing struggle between hamas and israel and gaza. i think -- by the way, i think that egypt's role in this, president morsi's role was really a wonderful sight for the future, it tells us that the muslim brotherhood who control egypt are going to be a major force throughout the region are going to be moderates and are going to try to -- >> with a price. >> that's real concern. to follow-up on something that joe said, everyone is happy that there was a cease-fire. but i think, actually, the wrong lessons are going to be learned by both sides. what's going to eand up in this process, israelis now want a military conflict and the palestinians who want to confront israel,
they'll be emboldened for different reasons. the big problem is, fear exists on both sides. i wrote about this this week as well as the fiscal cliff. i don't think either side can see a future where conflict doesn't exist. the conflict has now given their lives meaning. if they take away the conflict, israel doesn't have a meaning. and the palestinians don't have a meaning. >> i feel some people actually started to see what was going on in the past week, in the middle east and started to actually turn away, thinking, nothing here will ever change. this will never go away. i sense among regular folk, a certain, even as interesting diplomatic things are going on, i sense a certain despair that this will never end and that's not acceptable. >> ruth marcus, both the president and secretary clinton
have stayed away from this until these final moments. she was able to come in and broker a cease-fire with the help of egyptian president. >> broker a cease-fire, a nice way to close out your tenure as secretary of state. it's only a cease-fire, it's not a solution. gaza is going to be a chronic problem. and i think that joe's exactly right. the most interesting aspect of this episode was, president morsi who played a positive role which wasn't clear that he was going to play with respect to the cease-fire, and then turned around and exacted the price of seizing power. note the state department's response. >> no judicial review of the decision. >> that's right. >> this puts president obama right back in this situation that many of his predecessors found themselves in. he's at this point, tied to president morsi, because if you can get a muslim brotherhood president of egypt to intervene in a case like this is
enormously valuable. if it requires him to do what the united states did for 30 years with president mubarak, which is to just look the other way, at home, that's going to be the dilemma that every previous american president has been in. >> hamas is facing the same political situation in gaza that morsi is facing in egypt. morsi's looking at the extremists, the people who were in the streets rioting over that video in cairo. and in gaza, there are extreme elements, sending the rockets across and there was -- you know, i was not optimistic. you can't be optimistic but there were negotiations going on between hamas and israel. through kind of third parties and then israel killed the guy who was doing the negotiations for hamas. hamas has to decide whether it wants to be with extremists or whether it wants to be with
the other muslim brotherhood organizations in the region. i want to turn back to the debates here at home. more fallout from the elections. matt, you wrote an interesting piece this week talking about the myths of the election of 2012. you wanted to take on, this wasn't about the brilliant tactics of the obama campaign, whether it was the early advertising their ground game, it wasn't a real choice election. this was a referendum of president obama that he won. >> if the republicans take away the wrong lessons from this they're going to repeat this and fail again in the next presidential election. campaigns and politics are always about big, grand movements, they're about the country. about where the country is. if you take a look at where the country has been heading for 20 years, there has been a slow progress by percentage of the growth of the latino population, people who are unaffiliated on religion, there's been a slow progress of single women not
married. they presented themselves in the election and basically barack obama matched more closely that electorate than mitt romney. if you looked at the job approval, it was 51% or 52% on election day, and that's what he ended up with, but i think that if the republicans are going to learn from this, they have to figure out a brand and a candidate that matches where the country is today and the electorate where it is today and not think they can change it in order to go backward. >> and peggy, one thing they'll have to absorb, this election in the end wasn't that close. president obama, 330 electorate votes. they're still counting the popular vote. >> yeah, i think -- i mean, from the beginning, it's struck me as this isn't just the re-election of a president, this is the rebuffing, if that's the right word, of the republicans. look, i think there are many lessons to be learned over this election.
there was a not ideal candidate. it was not an ideal campaign, et cetera. but yes, america, in america, something is always being borne. it's always changing. dem graphically it's changing. at the end of the day, elections are actually about ideas, they're about the stands that each party takes. republicans do have to sit down and say, what are we doing and as important, how are we doing it? >> we have seen the reemergence of mitt romney this week. a smiling mitt romney. i want to show it out there with his family. ruth, both peggy and matt talking about the kind of rethinking the republicans will have to go through, but there has been a temptation with losing party, to pile on the candidate and blame it all on him. >> he's the guy, he's the one who lost it for us, it wasn't our fault, that would be the wrong lesson to take. i think there's a danger for
democrats, resting on their laurels. yes, the country is becoming browner, wedge issues aren't as wedgy as they used to be. but the republican party unless you believe it's the stupid party which i don't is just as capable of changing and modernizing itself for the times. if the republican party updates its message, it's got a very attractive bench of candidates for 2016. it could end up surprising democrats. >> yeah, i disagree with matt. i think the presidential election is always a choice. always. i think that congressional elections can be referendums. in this case -- >> could mitt romney have won it? >> no, because the republican party's message was that we're the party of rich folks, and he by the very nature of who he
was, doubled down on that message. the republican party has to go back to being the party of the middle class. lot of young conservatives are doing creative thinking about how you do this in a policy sense. they're doing some creative thinking about how you're doing this in a policy sense. if the republican party were in favor of some form of revenue increase, and also, the most effective thing that romney did in this campaign was to talk about the need of government reform. when he talked about the fact that there were 45 different job training programs, none of which worked by the way, that is a place where the republican party has traditionally been and where it needs to go now. >> i want to follow-up on that, i think the republicans, if you're a choice between big government and big business, the big government party is going to win most of the time. the republican party in my view, has to go back to a much more populous image and brand, much
like teddy roosevelt, he takes on wall street as well as he takes on washington simultaneously. the part of the problem that mitt romney had, he was a creature of wall street and big business. if they don't feel the republican party represent main stream, until they're fighting for those folks they're not voting for them. >> not troubled. romney's economic programs reflected the concerns of wall street, as opposed to the concerns of regular folk coming up. look, as i look at the past 30 years of republican politics, the modern conservative movement come up with reagan in the reagan era, it represented regular, normal, in-the-middle americans, it was actually not the party of the rich. everybody thought that was the democrats were the party of the rich, limousine liberals.
the republican party didn't used to be that. it's got to be back to what it really was 30 years. >> david sanger, you would think that would lead republicans let's get the tax increase off the wealthy. >> you would think it would. i don't think they want to run on this again in four years. it would end up as a perhaps a repeat. but the democrats also have to find themselves a different agenda here. a little bit hard to remember that right after a victory for president obama. but history suggests that it would be very difficult to have democrats elected three times in a row. the last time a party held on three times in a row was in 1988 with george h.w. bush. the second problem they're going to face, president obama, did not tell very much about what his second term was going to look like. we all know that second terms have a way of sort of wandering off.
he came in four years ago with some big ideas that he never mentioned again. moving to zero nuclear weapons, big changes in energy. he did not talk about those and the interesting question in my mind is, from the inaugural on, is he going to bring those back? >> yeah, and i think that the president -- joe wrote about this, is there are these immense divisions that still exist in the america, there's young versus old, white versus brown and black. there is single women versus married women. all of the patterns of r playing out. huge divisions. if the president is going to be successful and the democratic party successful, it's how do you heal and how do you bridge all of these divisions in the country? he was voted against overwhelmingly by huge segments of society that are going to have to say over the generations. >> can i raise one word that's not been mentioned at all in all
of this that's crucial going forward? obamacare. the president has a real opportunity here to reach out to republicans in a number of different ways. put malpractice insurance on the table. >> governors don't want to sign on to it. >> right. make it a national or regional program and then if you have obama care, the question of what age medicare begins at, becomes kind of moot. because everybody has health insurance. >> that would take grace, shrewdness for him to move forward. >> i'm not sure we're reopening obama care to do picks on. i think the president's opportunity is really in entitlement reform. he doesn't have to run for re-election. he wants to -- the squealing that we're going
to hear in the next couple of weeks is going to be huge. >> thank you all very much. fantastic discussion. after the show, matt is going to be play fact or fiction with your tweets about the 2012 campaign. up next, ben affleck is here with an urgent message about the war this week you may have missed. [ male announcer ] introducing the new dell xps 12.
part of a whole new line of tablets from dell. it's changing the conversation. ♪ ben affleck rig ben affleck right there pursuing an off-screen passion bringing real development to the long-suffering people of the eastern congo in africa. that war flared this week. ben affleck is here with us today along with congressman adam smith. ben, thanks for coming in. you have been working in eastern congo for many, many years. one thing we saw this week is, rebels march through this country. >> one of the things that we're
hearing from our people here, the schools that we're funding, rebels are hiding in. you're hearing all kinds of brutal, terrible stuff that you hear about. >> this war has taken lives of millions. >> indeed. this war, since '96 and '98, conservative estimates are 3 million people have died. which is a hard number to imagine. you can imagine if this was happening in western europe, it would be a galactic event. people would be paying a lot of attention to, but it's in central east africa. people feel it's removed for our lifetime. >> earlier this week, you sent out a tweet urging america to insist on a cease-fire. what can we do right now that we're not doing? >> we have a lot of levers there. we can engage in the kind of high-level shuttle diplomacy that was so effective with gaza. ambassador rice to the united nations.
peacekeeper agency, which we're on the hook of 400 million. we can engage a high level way that they pay attention. >> congressman, why isn't that happening? >> well, we have a loft influence in the region. we're in a position to make a difference there. we have built relationships with kenya, uganda. lot of it around somalia. we have influence in the region with key players, we need to get there in that type of high-level capacity. it's not happening at the moment because attention is elsewhere. it's gaza, it's libya. look, it's all tied in africa. the instability, the lack of governance in africa, leads to the problems that we'll have to deal with. it's our interest to get in there and broker a peace deal. >> one of the other things that we have seen here, the u.n. peace keeping initiative, 7,000 troops there, their mandate is to protect civilians
not engage the rebels. this week, they were standing by. >> they can't enforce peace. >> they opted to sidestep this conflict. they're quite unpopular in congo. there are some issues of abuse. i think when, the united states, when we had issues that were important to us, we sent john kerry to sudan, that's a level of engagement that we need to step up. what we're seeing here, this rebel group taking a city of a million people, carving this area into keystones, kind of imposing terror there, precipitated in the passing of 3 million lives. >> we have to be engaged in a sustained way. we have been involved there. u.s. military trained a congo battalion that has proven effective. but it's only one. it's all about security. they don't have the security forces in that region. if we could work actively to train security forces we could
make an enormous difference. >> interesting that you say that, anecdotely, some of our people lost their car in a ditch, the army guys pulled up to help get the people out after ditch, here we go, it's going to be bribery. they brought the car out, they waved good-bye. they said, no problem. it turned out to be the one unit of their armed we trained, so this progress is possible and, as you know, this country was the subject of the single piece of legislation that barack obama sponsored while he was in the u.s. senate. he's not unaware of it. i appreciate all of the other things that he's doing. >> the private sector, congo is a wealthy country in so many ways. lots of -- critical minerals come from there. is that working? >> it's not working as well it should. but at least, it gives us a chance to get beyond these underground economy to a legitimate economy.
this is a region of the world that's resource rich. this is a huge opportunity for the united states to do business, to open up trade opportunities. china is very actively engaged in that region. now, they're actively engaged in a mercenary way, they pay whoever to get the minerals out. >> and it also creates the conditions for sustainable development what you're working on to grow crops that will help the people on the ground, but is that possible under these conditions right now? >> well, i tell you, we still have people, as you mentioned, we still have our farmers. the amazing thing about the congolese people is their degree of resilience. they're still dedicated and working hard. but naturally it's an impediment to growth. and i think that
one of the dangers is that you solve this particular issue of this revolutionary group, it tends to happen in international communities, okay, that's dealt with, really the systemic issue is the security reform. we don't have to spend a lot of money to lean on the congolese government to say that you have to create an environment where these units are protecting the civilians rather than being predators. that's the kind of thing that we need to get to and that's possible. >> the roundtable talking about the president's second-term agenda. this is something else for his second term? >> absolutely. people talk about, you know, what these issues are from a national security point of view, from an economic point of view, i think our actions in foreign policy represent our values and represent who we are. if any american were to go to that country, they would insist that we do what we could. >> huge humanitarian crisis. >> thank you, both. >> thank you very much.
and now, we honor our fellow americans who serve and sacrifice. this week, the pentagon released the names of three soldiers and marines killed in afghanistan. up next, they sparred all year, now these dueling party spokesmen are clipping their hair to help kids. clipping their hair to help kids. what does a machine know about itself? can it know when it needs to be repaired? and when it doesn't?
in industries like manufacturing and energy, they're using predictive analytics to detect signs of trouble helping some companies save millions on maintenance, because machines seek help before they're broken. and don't when they're not. that's what i'm working on. i'm an ibmer. let's build a smarter planet. finally as we wrap up this thanksgiving weekend something else to be thankful for, some daring bipartsanship from two of washington operatives. jonathan karl helped the top spokesperson from the rnc and dnc handle an election bet with a handsome payoff.
>> reporter: all right, george, i'm here with brad woodhouse spokesperson for the democratic national party and sean spicer, spokesperson for the republican party. they had a bet on election night. whoever would win the election, the other had their head shave. you asked me to come in to shave his head and you agreed to have your head as well. >> that's correct. >> you're going to raise some money for charity, st. baldrick's. >> raising money for childhood cancer. >> i have never done this before. there is safety on this. no lasting damage will be done. there you go. this is going to be good. >> if only washington could cut spending like you cut hair. >> i think mission accomplished, right? we cut some republican hair. now some democratic hair. are you sure you're ready for this? >> i'm good! you can come comb it over. >> this is just too good. >> my kids are going to run. >> all right, you guys pulled it
off coming together for a good cause and without any hair now. brad woodhouse and sean spicer. thank you very much and remember, you can donate in the name of this cause, stbaldricks.org. raising money for kids with cancer. i will. >> thank you, jonathan. >> looking good and they are almost to their $12,000 goal. that's all for us today. thank you for sharing part of your sunday with us. check out "world news" with david muir tonight and i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america." >> in the news this sunday, a dangerous night on the road. a crash shuts down the freeway. and the race is about to start to collect holiday toys for the san francisco firefighters toy
program. we will have a live report. >> here's one of the better looking spots around the bay, san francisco 53 degrees. widespread fog around the bay, slowly beginning to lift. we will have a look at the rest of the fog, the reduced visibility and changes for the upcoming work week ahead on the [ male announcer ] introducing... a new way to save on your prescriptions. it's the aarp medicarerx saver plus plan from unitedhealthcare. with this plan, you can get copays as low as a dollar through a preferred network pharmacy like walgreens --